Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014

     Good morning. It seems like it has been a long time since I wrote. I has been a busy last week and sometimes I can't find the time to set down or a quiet time to think. Hopefully this week I will be able to get back on schedule.
     Thursday we had a girls day out. Ms. M found, on Facebook, a new local business selling Amish goods and antiques and also having a yard sale. I love anything to do with the Amish and also yard sales. So Mom, Ms. M, and I took off for an adventure and just to basically get Mom out of the house for a little bit. The woman had advertised quite a lot of things and we were excited to go shopping. The yard sale was quite small but I did buy two Longaberger purses, I love those and will buy any that I see but I wont pay full price. Now the small store that that woman had advertised was a let down. Most of the things she said she had to sell she hadn't even put out in her store yet and the things he did have displayed was very expensive or had no price at all. She had an old coffee grinder that I was interested in. I asked about it and she said she didn't know how much to sell it for and that her husband gets mad when ever she sells anything for cheaper than what it was worth. So she never quoted me a price, I walked away shaking my head, not a very good way to do business. Also I was disappointed with the 'Amish' goods they were selling. The were the Walnut Creek brand that you can buy in most grocery stores. Plus the prices were way marked up. Like a can of beef broth for more than three dollars, I looked at the local IGA and theirs of the same brand was under three dollars. I love to support new local business but this one needs a lot of work before I can give it my approval. The owner said that the 'Amish' products were not selling as well as she had expected and they might stop selling them and focus on the antiques. That may be a better route for her to take but I very rarely see an antique store do well for very long especially in this area and when you ask full 'internet' prices. I think she may do well with the Amish products if she would sell homemade Amish goods not factory made 'Amish' products. Just my opinion. After stopping at that place we decided to go on to Ollie's. Ms. M had never been there before and I figured Mom would like to get out and see something different than just the inside of our house. After that we stopped at Hardiee's for lunch. We had a good girls day out. Had some laughs and hopefully Mom had a good time as well.
     Friday my husband and I finished the chicken coop and got the girls (baby chicks) into their new home. Well they aren't really babies anymore they are almost a month old now. I must say that they are quite boring... I had read so many chicken owners say how much fun it is to sit and watch their chickens. But I must admit that even if they are boring I do enjoy sitting and watching them, it is kind of relaxing. I was worried at first, when be put them in their pen, because the would just lay down and roll over and look dead. But I quickly figured out that they were just sun bathing. They had never been in the sun before. The have been outside for four days now. The first night they were out I was so worried about them, afraid something would get to them, like my cats, but the coop and run seem to be secure. Every morning when I go out to let them out of the hen house and into the run they seem to just stay in the hen house, I have to actually make them go out and shut the door or they will just go back in. They have plenty of food, treats and water out in the run and also shade. I don't think they understand yet how it all works. Hopefully as they get bigger they will get smarter.
     So I am thinking that one of the girls just may be a boy.... I am not sure yet but all the signs are pointing to rooster. Which would be fine with me. My sister H/neighbor my not like it if it is a boy and he wakes her up every morning. The hatchery where I ordered them from said it has a 90% accuracy on gender. We shall see in a couple months if we have a Cleo or a Leo.
     We finally got most of the garden in... all but the buckwheat and wheat left to plant. I also my try to find another place to put more sunflowers in. I hope to grow some of the chicken's feed by growing corn, buckwheat, and sunflower. I also have started a meal worm farm but I don't think it is doing all that well.
      Saturday night my sister H took care of Mom so that my husband and I could go out on a date. We went to the drive-in. Did you know at one time there was over 4000 drive-ins and now there is only about 400? I believe this is something we all should support to keep them around. So everyone go to the drive-in some time this summer. The first movie was Blended it was good. The second movie was Godzilla but we only stayed about twenty minutes into it because I got a bad headache and we had to leave. I seem to always get a headache when I go to the drive-in.
     The rest of the weekend was spent planting and yard work. And ya playing with the chickens.
I painted the inside of their run, the plywood, with paint I got for ten dollars at Lowe's, it was one of their reject cans. I also got a ten dollar rebate, so I pretty much got it for free, which is good because it is very ugly. But the chickens don't seem to mind unless that is the reason they don't want to go out into their run...hum.
      Well I need to get off here and get something accomplished today. Have a good day.

                                                                   April Whitehair

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014

     Good morning. I know I am writing on the wrong day but yesterday was just to busy and I didn't have time to sit down and write. Mom's caregiver was here yesterday to make up for a day she had to call off last week when she and her daughter had that nasty flu bug. So my husband wanted to go out to breakfast then we got started on the chicken coop. We got the roof of the hen house done and the chain link fence on the run on and the plywood up over the cross-ties and both doors up. We are so close to  being done, we just have to put up the rest of the fencing and the roost and nesting boxes and move the chickens out. I will be very happy when they are out of this house. They smell ! Well actually I think the smell is coming from them splashing their water everywhere and getting the pine shavings wet, I can't stand the smell of wet pine shavings. They are getting so big and have most of their feathers. So I think they will do ok outside. I will probably put their heat lamp out their just to use at night if it is going to be a little chilly.
     After working on the coop we worked on the garden. I have so many things I want to grow that he had to extend the garden. I got more corn in and potatoes. We also planted sunflowers, beans, and peas. I planted the first two packs of peas before I realized they were sugar snap peas, not the regular kind that I wanted to plant. Oh well I will figure out something to do with them.
     The other night we had a frost warning, well it was two nights in a row. We had to cover all the plants. It looked like we were trying to grow sheets and pillow cases, they were all over the place. Now I am working on washing and drying all of them so I can pack them all away to have to use next spring. This is when I would love to have my outside clothes line up, all the ones I had up last year has been taken down when people were working in different areas in the yard. I would love to have the T-posts to put a permanent close line up. Maybe after we get the chickens settled outside and the garden all finished I can start figuring out a way to get some T-posts.
     So Saturday was a difficult morning for me. Mom was being overly difficult and my patience was gone... Also it was the third day in a row without help due to Mom's helper calling off when she was ill. I was at my limit. I got her up, out of bed, dressed, and fed. Then I set her in the recliner with snacks and drinks, my husband was asleep in the next room with the door open. And I took off in search of some patience, some distraction. I went to the small farmers market in town. And I mean SMALL ! There was two tables set up, I understand it is early in the year. I wonder if more people will set up tables as the summer goes on. I have had some thoughts of setting up a table and selling some garden goodies but I don't think I will have very much to sell now that I have lost all those seedlings that I started. Anyway one of the people who were selling was the Staddon family that sells their honey. The same people who I went to their house back in the winter and bought honey from. I had to buy from them and support a local family, I only bought a small honey bear bottle from them. I love their honey. The other person that was their was selling homemade breads and other kitchen goodies. It all looked good but I have issues with eating other peoples homemade goodies, but I can eat at restaurants or at others houses but not buy things at places like that. I know it may sound crazy but I am a little crazy at times. She was a very nice lady and she was also selling farm fresh chicken eggs and I started up a conversation about chickens. I do feel like I am in some kind of a secret chicken club now. Also I am very proud of myself that I was actually able to have a decent conversation with a stranger. I have always been so shy and kind of felt a little backward in the conversation department. But now with chicken people I feel like I belong..... I could kick myself because I didn't see how much she was selling her eggs for, I may one day need to know how much a dozen fresh farm eggs go for around here.  
     After the farmers market I decided I would drive around and check out some yard sales, being that it was suppose to be the big RT 50 yard sale day. I found one sale and didn't find anything to buy and the other place I found was way way out in the middle of nowhere but I drove to it but their driveway crossed the creek and the water was up a little due to all the rain, I was too afraid to cross it so I just turned around and drove all the way back. That is all the yard sales I found and I was all over the place around here, all the way to West Union and almost to Clarksburg. I did go out one road and just enjoyed being out in the country. There was a lot of farms and barns and things that helped me feel happy and calm and brought my patience back. I think I have found a way to recharge with out spending any money, except for gas. Just get out and take a drive in the country. Seemed to sooth my soul.
     I made it home Saturday after my adventure and Mom didn't even realize I had been gone almost two hours. She was happily watching tv and petting her dog and probably feeding him some of her cookies I had left her as a snack. I don't think my husband would have even realized that I had gone if he hadn't gotten up and seen the note I left him on the table.
     Well Mom is up and wanting my attention. Have a good day.

                                                             April Whitehair

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 15, 2014

     Good afternoon. I am really running late today. It seems like such a busy time of the year. I must say I feel much better now that I am over busy than I did when it was cold and I was stuck inside all the time. I love to be outside in nature even though I will do everything I can to not be in the hot direct sun of mid day, on a hot sunny day. I love that I have a large porch with a swing on it that I can enjoy being outside and still be in the shade. Also I can get Mom outside and we can sit on the porch a good bit when it is warm. I will go out and work on the garden and flower beds early in the morning or late in the evening before the sun gets over the hill and after the sun goes behind the hill.
     Yesterday we got a good storm, lots of hail and rain. I love being out on the porch and watching it storm. I must have got that love of storms from my Mom, she use to love to be outside and watch the it storming. I brought some hail inside to show Mom yesterday, she would have been to cold outside and she doesn't like getting rained on anymore, but she liked watching the storm out the window. The ditch in front of the house isn't really a ditch anymore it needs to be cleaned out. All the water now comes into the yard and there is no way to plant in the spot that I wanted to plant the wheat and buckwheat. Also where I have planted the regular garden for the last couple years gets flooded too, I thought all my plant were going to get washed away but they seem to have survived, thankfully.
     Today is my sister M and brother-in-law G's Anniversary, Happy Anniversary ! Have a good time at our beach. They are at the beach where my husband and I go to every year and where we got married. I must say I am a little jealous but it will be just a little over a month and we will be there. I can't wait to go on vacation and get away from all the responsibilities at home.
     The baby chicks are growing. They are getting so fat, they sure eat a lot. They all are getting a lot more feathers. They have wing, tail, and neck feathers. Hopefully we will have nice days, without rain, on my husbands next days off work so we can finish the chicken coop. They will soon be to big for their tote.
     I need to go. The day is going by way to fast. Have a good day.

                                                        April Whitehair 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 13, 2014

     Good morning. Wow it has been hot the last couple days, I am not use to the heat yet this year. I don't like it cold or hot. We need to get the ac's in. We are planning on buying a small ac for the kitchen window when we can find some spare cash to buy it with.
     Friday night we went to a graduation party for my niece and several other graduates in the family. We had a good time and had lots of good food and cake to eat. I think Mom had a good time. She likes just getting out and being around other people.
     Sunday was Mother's Day. I made a strawberry rhubarb upside down cake. Two of my sisters stopped by to visit with Mom. Mom got a card and a humming bird feeder and a wood wind chime. Monday my other sister stopped by to visit with Mom and brought her a hanging plant and sat around chatting and eating cake. Mom may not remember who her daughters are but you can tell she loves all of us and has a smile on her face when she sees each one of my sisters, like she remembers their faces but can't place where from. Me she has no idea except if we are out in a crowd and she sees me she knows that I am the person she is suppose to be with.
     We got some of the garden put in. I had to go buy plants because all my plants that I started from seed has died. Oh well I will try again next year.
     I am making strawberry rhubarb jam for the first time. I hope it turns out ok. So far it looks and smells wonderful.
     The baby chicks are growing like crazy. I am still having a hard time finding them something to eat other than their regular chick food. They did like the live meal worms but they don't like the dead ones. I am trying to start a meal worm farm. We shall see if it works and they grow.
     Mom should be waking up soon and needing my attention. Have a good day.

                                                                      April Whitehair

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8, 2014

    Good morning. I have been working of planting the garden. It is a little early in the year than I usually plant. My husband thinks it is time so I went ahead and got some plants in the ground and will cover them as needed. Almost all the seedling that I started have died. A few bell pepper plants are still alive but don't look good. I am so upset about the loss of all of those plants, over 100 plants gone. Next year I plan on not starting so much and also not using the large trays, none of the plants did good in those. I will just use egg cartons to start seeds in next year.
     I went yesterday and bought three more tomato plants, six different pepper plants and planted all of those. I also planted corn, cucumber, zucchini, melon, onion, and pumpkin. I hope they all do good. The strawberry and blueberry plants all look good. I have lots of seeds left to plant and I hope to get those in the ground soon.
     The baby chickens are doing great. They all have wing feathers and all but one has tail feathers. I gave them strawberries for a treat the other day and I am not sure if they liked it or not, they didn't eat it all and slung it all over their tote. I gave them yogurt, I heard other chicks love yogurt, but they did not eat it. They just ran through it and got it everywhere. They all got a bath after that and I had to clean out their tote. I won't be trying that again anytime soon. I hope to get outside today and find them some bugs and see if they will like those.
      My niece and nephew come up and see the chicks every couple of days. The chicks love those kids. They are much tamer for the kids than they are for me. The kids can hold them and pet them and the chicks will just set their and let them do what ever. But when I try to hold them they freak out and flap their wings and try to get away. Also my husband can hold his chick, Josie, with ease. She will just sit in his hands with no problem. I am a bit jealous about all that.
     Well Mom is awake and wanting to get out of bed. Her tick bite is all better, no more redness or swelling. Hopefully if it is nice out today I can get her outside for a little bit. She use to love being outside but now she complains all the time and doesn't seem to like being on the porch much.
     Have a good day.

                                                   April Whitehair

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 6, 2014


     Good morning. I would like to introduce you to the babies!!! I waited so long for them and I love them so much. They are such a joy to watch and spend time with. Each has their own personality that I am getting to know. 
                                          EMMA ! Emma is the runt. She may be small but she has the biggest personality. She is such a hand full. She is the lightest in color. She is the first one I have seen run around their tote/cage and launch off the log and try to fly.

                                          JOSIE ! Josie is considered my husbands. He chose her name. She is the darkest in color.  And the largest in size. She is the boss! She will boss everyone else around and no one is aloud to sleep unless she is. You can see in her top pic she has a enlarged crop, how her chest looks bigger on one side. The crop is the sack off their esophagus that stores their food till they are ready to digest it. She is a little pig, but so is all her sisters, all their crops are enlarged. I was worried about it at first until I learned what it was.
                                          CLOE ! Cloe and Cleo are very close to being twins. I named them Cloe and Cleo because I figured I would get them confused and mix up their names anyway. But now I can tell them apart. Cloe has a dark stripe on her head. She was the first to have pasty butt and needed a bath which she didn't seem to mind. Pasty but it basically just a dirty butt but if not cleaned it can block the vent and kill them. This is such a learning experience for me.
                                          CLEO ! Cleo is Cloe's twin except she doesn't have the dark stripe on her head. She has also had pasty butt and needed a bath. She seems to be the calmest and likes me to hold her and snuggle.
                               The girls just hanging out. I think they like to get their picture taken.
                                          EMMA and CLEO

     Today the girls are a week old and they got their first treat today. Strawberries! At first they didn't know what to do with it. I sliced it up real small and Emma took a piece and ran all around the tote and chirped really loud for a couple minutes before figuring out how to eat it. Then they all went crazy and started eating the strawberries. It was a feeding frenzy. Baby chick grit was added to their food along with the special food that my husband had bought for them. I think he is going to spoil them like he did the cats.
     Ok, ok, enough about the baby chicks. LOL. Saturday was the church rummage sale. We, church ladies, can have a good time no matter what we are doing. A lot of hard work but laughing together and at each other makes it a lot easier. Cousin J (SJL) thought it was sooo funny that I named my baby chicks, but boy do I have a funny story on her, which I won't tell.... Some things are best left untold, at least not on this blog. LOL. Mom was with us at the sale all day. She did good being up and around other people. I think she especially liked the Dairy Queen lunch and her caramel sundae.
     Well I need to go. My husband wants to start building the chicken coop and will need my help, umm or at least my bossing around. LOL, my poor husband is so confused about that chicken coop because I keep changing my mind and thinking up new ideas. We need to get the coop finished soon because it won't be long till those babies are all grown, they already have wing feathers and a couple tiny tail feathers. They are sooo cute!

                                                          April Whitehair  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 1, 2014

     Good morning. No baby chicks yet. I am so excited and driving my husband crazy. I think every word out of my mouth is about the chickens. I have their baby house set up and ready. It's a big tote with pine shavings, a water and food feeders. I also have the heat lamp but I have been unable to get it in the right position to provide the right heat, we are working on that. I think I need a new thermometer, that may be some of the problem. Now my husband is working on building, completing the big chicken coop. It will be interesting how it turns out because I keep changing my mind and coming up with new ideas.
     My Mom got bit by a wood tick the other day and the skin around the bite got all red and swollen. I have never seen a tick bite look like that before. Sometimes I feel like a worried momma. I took her to the doctor and it is infected. She is on antibiotics for 10 days. They said it will probably look worse before it looks better. I don't see how it could look worse. She doesn't complain about it hurting or anything so that is good. I don't know how it wouldn't hurt. It hurts me to look at it.
       We have a busy day today. My car needs to go into the shop, we have to go get supplies to build the chicken coop and Ms. M will be here in just a minute to look after Mom for me. I need to go get this day started. Have a good day.

                                                        April Whitehair